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Galloping Insanity

One of our family’s favorite films is the Cary Grant classic “Arsenic and Old Lace,” in which Grant’s young and dashing character, Mortimer Brewster, about to elope with his sweetheart, discovers that his adorable maiden aunts have been happily murdering lonely old men (which they consider putting the poor dears out of their misery) and having Mortimer’s delusional cousin, Teddy Brewster (who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt), bury them in the cellar. Meanwhile, Mortimer’s psychopathic serial killer of a brother returns home, complicating an already wildly unnerving day.

At one point in the script, Mortimer, fearing he may burden his fiance with a lifetime of heartbreak, laments, “Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops!”

Galloping insanity. I can’t think of a more appropriate phrase to describe this month’s first-run stories.

In “Marcie’s Waffles Are the Best in Town,” by Sunil Patel, post-apocalypse survivor, Marcie, still keeps the diner open, still makes waffles with syrup, still hopes that one day the bell on the door will announce the return of her daughter. When a young fellow survivor walks in… Well, you’ll just have to see what happens. And while you’re there, click over to an interview with the author, and enjoy a waffle recipe from writer/blogger Miranda Suri. Her blog can be found here:

Next, a different crazy. You know all those wackos who are convinced the government is secreting mind control chips into our brains? What if they aren’t quite so wacko? Brontë Christopher Wieland‘s “I Found Solace in a Great Moving Shadow” takes us right there in a creepily believable tale. We’re also pleased to have an interview with Brontë. Be sure to click over to that, too.

Finally, “The Man in the Basement” by Joshua Rupp. The title kind of gives it away doesn’t it? This is not going to be a story about mentally stable characters. And no, it is not. Rupp digs deep into an off-kilter mind. Great stuff!

Also this month, we’re pleased to offer second-run story “What Merfolk Must Know” by Kat Otis. Originally appearing in Daily Science Fiction in April 2013, Otis’ story gives us a fantastic and heartbreaking telling of the making of a mermaid. No Disney Ariel or tempting handsome prince here.

So, enjoy. Be disturbed. Take a swim in the pools of madness for awhile.

Suzanne Vincent

Suzanne Vincent is the editor-in-chief of Flash Fiction Online. That’s what people think anyway. Actually, she’s really a pretty ordinary middle-aged woman packing a few extra pounds and a few more gray hairs than she’s comfortable with. As a writer, she leans toward the fantasy spectrum, though much of what she writes is difficult to classify. Slipstream? Isn’t that where we stick stories when we just can’t figure out where else they go? Suzanne’s first professional publication was right here at FFO, published before she joined the staff: “I Speak the Master’s Will,” — a story she’s still very proud of. While she doesn’t actually have time to blog anymore, she once did. You can still read her ancient posts on writing at The Slushpile Avalanche. Suzanne keeps a house full of kids (3), a husband (1), and pets (too many to number) in Utah, USA. Yes, she’s a Mormon. No, there isn’t another wife. Mormons haven’t actually practiced polygamy since the 1890s. Too bad. She’d love to have another woman around to wash dishes and do laundry.


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